How will Harrogate mental health decisions affect our police?

The Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police has spoken out about the challenges in the force in light of decisions around mental health provisions in Harrogate.

Harrogate Borough Councillors at a Scrutiny and Overview meeting on policing asked Chief Constable Dave Jones if the decision not to progress with a new mental health facility would affect police.

Mr Jones said with various NHS organisations throughout the county, he found it difficult to hold the health service to account and that there was a lack of mental health provision across North Yorkshire.

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He said: “Change of legislation means it is now unlawful to take mental health patient to a police station.

“Our connectivity with health is far more so than with any other services.

“People are making decisions without fully understanding the impact on other people. There is a worry in the whole of the northeast of England, I think there’s something like only two emergency mental health beds for children.

“We work really hard not to take people to our custody facilities, it’s not appropriate unless there is a real risk to people. We are still spending an inordinate amount of time dealing with mental health issues because the officers don’t feel like they can leave that individual.”